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Helping clarify the eminent domain process - II

In our last post, we began the process of providing a more in-depth, yet readily comprehensible, look at the complex legal procedure that is eminent domain. Specifically, we discussed how each of the terms contained within the Fifth Amendment's definition of eminent domain had a very precise meaning in the eyes of the law.

In today's post, we'll continue with this theme, examining the significant legal meanings attached to the idea of a taking, sometimes referred to as either expropriation or condemnation. 

Takings and eminent domain

While you know that eminent domain involves the state or federal government taking private property in exchange for just compensation, it's important to understand that this doesn't automatically equate to a complete taking.

Rather, there are several types of takings that can be accomplished via eminent domain, including:

  • Temporary taking: This involves private property being taken for a set amount of time, meaning the property owner never loses title, is compensated for any associated losses and reassumes possession upon completion of the taking. By way of illustration, consider the placement of a sign during a road construction project.
  • Partial taking: This involves a smaller piece of the overall larger property being taken, meaning the property owner is compensated for both the value of the land appropriated and the impact that the partial taking has on the value of the remaining property. By way of illustration, consider a parcel of land being taken for road expansion.
  • Easements: This doesn't involve any actual taking of the land, but rather securing the right to cross or use property in a certain manner, and the property owner being paid just compensation. By way of illustration, consider an easement granting the ability to install or maintain power lines, or use an access road.    

Always remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible if you received any sort of notice from the state or federal government concerning the use of eminent domain.

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